Low Chirp Modulation by Electro-Optic Intensity Modulator Using Microwave 180-Degree Hybrid Directly Formed on LiNbO3 Substrate

Tadashi KAWAI

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E98-C    No.8    pp.777-782
Publication Date: 2015/08/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E98.C.777
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Microwave Photonics)
Category: MWP Device and Application
light-frequency chirp,  electro-optic modulator,  rat-race,  Mach-Zehnder interferometer,  

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An electro-optic (EO) modulator integrated with the microwave planar circuit directly formed on a LiNbO3 (LN) substrate for low frequency-chirp performance and compact configuration is introduced. Frequency chirp of EO intensity modulators was investigated and a dual-electrode Mach-Zehnder (MZ) modulator combined with a microwave rat-race (RR) circuit was considered for the low-chirp modulation. The RR circuit, which operates as a 180-degree hybrid, was designed on a z-cut LN substrate to create two modulation signals of the same amplitude in anti-phase with each other from a single input signal. Output ports of the RR were connected to the modulation electrodes on the substrate. The two signals of the equal amplitude drive two phase modulation parts of the modulator so that the symmetric interference are realized to obtain intensity modulation of low frequency-chirp. The modulator was designed and fabricated on a single LN substrate for around 10 GHz modulation frequencies and 1550 nm light wavelength. The chirp parameters were measured to be less than 0.2 in the frequency range between 8 and 12 GHz. By compensating imbalance of the light power splitting in the waveguide MZ interferometer the chirp could be reduced even more.